Frank Kura Yama left this life on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2013. He was 91 years old.
He was born Oct. 28, 1922 in Oak Creek, Colo., to Kuranosuki and Edna Johns Yamaguchi. He had two older sisters, Francis and Kathryn and a younger brother James, who died in infancy.
He graduated as the salutatorian from Oak Creek High School, but was unable to be recognized as the valedictorian because of his Japanese ancestry.
Following graduation he enrolled in the Horological Institute of America, now Bradley University. There he earned a degree as a junior watchmaker, a trade he plied for over 70 years with shops in Denver, Colo., and in Helper and Moab.
During World War II, he was part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team whose motto was “Go For Broke.” He fought proudly for his country with his Japanese-American comrades. He was honorably discharged as a Technical Sergeant.
It was while on leave in Switzerland that he met Rosmary Anna Metz. They later married and had two sons, Ken and Kay. The couple divorced in 1986.
Frank was actively involved with the Masons and the Moab Shrine Club, and supported their projects; offering his time, expertise and financial resources.
He owned companies and real estate in Helper, Price and Moab. He built his successful businesses through dedication and determined effort. He worked diligently everyday up to the time of his death, never missing a day due to health.
He is remembered as a man of integrity who was good to others. Never one for public recognition, Frank gave anonymously to those in need. Frank leaves a legacy of an amazing work ethic, self-reliance and independence.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters and uncle. He is survived by his sons Ken and Kay, five grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and life-long friend Roy Shibata, the last living member of the class of 1940.